New Wine for New Wineskins August 2020

By , August 1, 2020 5:30 am

Over The Top (Part 3)


over the top to an excessive degree; beyond reasonable or acceptable limits

Remember, in the First World War the phrase “over the top” was used by the British to describe the infantry emerging from the safety of their trenches to attack the enemy across open ground. More recently the phrase has come to describe excessive or foolhardy actions.

OTT people don’t just wait for people to come into church before they minister to them – they go out looking for them.

OTT people engage the enemies of sickness and demonic oppression in open ground.  The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.  He said that we would do the same stuff that that he did and so I reckon we will do what he did the same way that he did it – by employing the same methods.

I want us to see that he didn’t tell us to pray for the sick from the safety of our trenches. Intercession is vital as we have seen previously but it is preparation for engagement with the enemy.  I heard someone say that if we go into the presence of the LORD and come out the same way that we went in then we haven’t been praying – we have been complaining!  Too often we have prayed to get an answer rather than pray to become the answer.  We simply need to spend time in fellowship with the LORD in prayer and in the Word – responding to any personal conviction that arises – and invite the fire of God’s presence to fill us and burn up any dross that is there.  Then go out and do what he said to do.

So what DID Jesus say?

Matthew 10: 7 – 8

7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

He didn’t say to employ modern medical procedures for treating the sick.  He said to heal the sick.  For generations the church has given God credit for what is humanly possible.  And it has been called the work of God.  But the works that Jesus did and said that we would also do were not humanly possible.  I am not saying that the LORD hasn’t helped us in our endeavours to spread benevolence but to be honest any other secular group or society could have done and many have been doing the same kind of stuff.

The reality is that we have been assigned to go over the top and invade the impossible!  We have been commissioned to do things that are impossible for us to do without God’s help.

Mark 16: 15 – 18

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

I believe we need to grasp the importance of physical touch and the spoken word in connection with ministering the power of God to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and drive out demons.  I heard a lady on the radio a couple of weeks ago say that she has had no physical contact with another person since the lockdown, and I am sure there are many like her. This strategy of social distancing is alien to the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom. As I said previously, if we are going to do what Jesus did then we will do it the way Jesus did it.  So let’s take a look at how he did it.  This is by no means an exhaustive list but we should get the idea.

Matthew 4: 24

24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.

Matthew 8: 2 – 4

2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

Matthew 8: 14 – 15

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

Matthew 8: 16

16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.

Matthew 9: 28 – 30

28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored.

Matthew 9: 32 – 33

32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

Matthew 12: 22, 28

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see…28… if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 14: 35 – 36

35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

Matthew 17: 17 – 19

17 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

Matthew 20: 29 – 34

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” 34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Mark 1: 32 – 34

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Take some time to meditate on these Scriptures.  We need to let the life of Jesus manifest in and through us.  We are his voice and his hands to our generation.  It is time to go over the top into our communities and workplaces as a continuation of Jesus’ life, an amplification of his message, and an extension of his works.

More next time….



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